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Presidential system of government dictatorial, says Agabi

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A one-time Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) has described the presidential system of government as dictatorial.

According to him, the presidential system is dictatorial with a purpose to wield the nation together.

Agabi, who stated this on Monday at the meeting of the 36 state Attorneys-General organized by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) in Abuja, however, noted that there are a lot of tendencies to divide the nation and not unite.

He said: “In presidential system of government, unity is not optional because all powers are vested in one man.

“There is a culture of dictatorship today, there are a lot of tendencies to divide the nation and not unite. We must unite across all regions because nothing will be gained by dividing the nation.

“We must unite to solve the problem confronting us, we can’t solve them by dividing us.”

Speaking on the subject: “lnsecurity at the sub-national level, the role of our Attorneys-General”, the former AGF, however, said the machinery of law enforcement is weak.

According to him, the military weakened the judiciary and the security agencies and it will take time to fix it.

He also attributed the rising insecurity in the country to the existence of obsolete laws.

“The constitution may not be good but it is ours. We must repair and manage it until we can replace it. A nation cannot have a constitution that is valid for all generations, every generation amends it to suit their needs.

“Secondly, we must modify the laws to suit local circumstances. The laws that govern our affairs are foreign, the system of government adopted is foreign but we must adopt the law else we will continue to have the problem of insecurity. Lack of respect for the constitution, the rule of law.

“Why we talk of state police is because the problem of insecurity has become huge. The police like the judiciary is a limitless institution.

“Even if we increase the number of policemen, the problem will not abate until we correct ourselves. A divided nation will be insecure,” he explained.

On the powers of the Attorney General, Agabi said: “Once you accept office as Attorney General, you are bound by oath to distinguish yourselves as impeccable resolute and inflexible opponents of the evils that now oppose us.

“You attorneys general are at the frontline. You are the generals in these states to uphold the law and order. The powers and duties of the Attorney General are provided by the constitution.

“It is you who ensure that you the rule of law is maintained and that government actions are legally unconstitutional valid. You are supposed to be champions of liberty and justice.

“The governors must allow the attorneys- general to advise them. The work of the attorney general is not easy. His duty is to tell you the truth. Once he has done so, you must act upon it.”

 

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